The Exerpeutic 400 XL Folding Recumbent Bike is a top rated and bestselling semi-recumbent folding exercise bike that sells at an affordable price.
It seems it proves, like the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike, that just because something is cheap it doesn’t have to act cheap!
The semi-recumbent refers to the fact that it is a cross between an upright and recumbent bike – your legs are out in front of you and down – on an angle from your body. On a recumbent they are more out in front of you and with an upright bike they are below you.
Rather than being seen as a compromise this arrangement is seen as providing a comfortable and an effective workout, as can be seen by the number of positive reviews left by customers.
There is much to like about the bike, especially for the price but it isn’t perfect with it having a few things to look out for. In this review, after researching the bike in depth, we explain what needs to be considered when looking to buy the bike for low impact cardio workouts in your home.
Note: The bike is also known as the Exerpeutic 300SR or the 1110.
This is a lightweight bike that folds up with narrow stabilizers so at first look it puts you on alert – it is understandable to think it might not properly support you as you workout. It weighs 39 lbs and is 19 inches wide.
But it surprises. When you ride it, it stays solid with no rocking or feeling that it is going tip even for taller users. The steel tubing frame is sturdy and it stays solid without flexing or moving around as you workout.
It stays stable on all surfaces including thick carpet providing the floor is flat.
It doesn’t come with levelers to level it out on any small unevenness in the floor which could be problem if using in a garage or basement.
That aside there is no wobbling or the feeling it is going to tip over whatever the height of the user.
It appears to be durable too, with customers getting more than 3 years use and the bike still going strong, One person commented that they had clocked over 10,000 miles on it.
The frame comes with a 1 year warranty and the parts have a 90 day warranty.
The manufacturer recommends the bike can be adjusted to fit people between 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 2 ins tall.
User experience seems to be different to that.
People below the minimum height down to 4 ft 11 ins have been able to comfortably reach the pedals for a good workout. But this is not universal and it does depend on leg length. If you have longer legs you should be able to ride the bike – also some people have used/suggested the use of pedal blocks to help in reaching the pedals.
However, at the taller end of the scale there are people 5ft 10 ins and above feel that the bike is not big enough for them. They say they don’t get the range of motion in the knee they should at the far end of the pedal stroke with the leg fully extended with just a slight bend at the knee. This isn’t all people but it is a relatively common complaint from taller people. To cater for this some have successfully tried yoga blocks to get the extra height needed to get the proper leg extension.
For both ends of the height range it can depend on leg length making a difference as to whether you can use it – i.e. long legs help people who are shorter than the recommended height and probably cause people over 5ft 10 ins to struggle with getting the full leg extension for the most effective workout.
Making the adjustment for different heights is quick to do. It is a simple process of loosening the adjustment knob on the seat post until it can be moved up and down. Then sliding it until the seat is at the correct position for you and then inserting the pin (part of the knob) into the pre-set hole and then tightening in the place.
This should take less than 30 seconds allowing it to be easily used by as many different people who want to use it. Allowing you to have only the one bike for the whole family.
Setting the amount of resistance you want is done by turning the knob just below the console. This moves a magnetic pad closer or further away to increase/decrease the resistance. There are marking on the knob to guide you as to the amount of resistance you have set the bike too.
The marked levels make it easy to know where you’ve set the resistance when you are wanting to increase it (or decrease) objectively and also for returning to a previous level.
The tension knob is in easy reach at the front of the bike but you may find you have to slow down to adjust it.
At resistance setting 1 it is very easy to pedal without much resistance at all (almost none). At this level it is gentle on the knees with very little or no impact to hurt them. Many people have used the bike to help with rehab on the knees successfully and other medical conditions (recovering from heart attacks) – on doctors advice.
As you increase the tension the resistance becomes harder to push against. It increases progressively in increments – it doesn’t go from easy to hard from one level to the next – it is just a small increase – so you can set it at the level you are comfortable at or handle.
When you get to 7 and 8 it becomes hard to push against and the cycling motion can become choppy as it speeds up and slows down as you go from pushing down to moving round the top and bottom of the stroke.
This can add a little impact to the strokes but it is only the pushing of your legs not your body weight behind the stroke, so the impact is not as great as you get with walking or on an upright bike. (It has a light flywheel so you don’t get the inertia to pull through the pedals like you get on a spin bike.)
The bike has a V-belt drive system that delivers a smooth riding experience that grips the pedals and flywheel to provide a no slip experience. It is also very quiet and doesn’t require maintenance. It should give years of trouble free workouts.
It is kept in a casing which stops any little fingers getting caught up in it or your legs or clothes.
The pedals are out in front of you which reduces the pressure on the knees and legs but not as much as a full recumbent bike . It seems that many people with joint issues use the bike successfully without pain and state it has helped in their rehab.
The pedals are made from a sturdy plastic and are designed for athletic shoes with a non-grip surface. There is a strap that goes over the shoes to hold them in place to ensure there is no slippage.
It is physically possible to pedal backwards on the bike but it is advised not to do this as it can loosen and strip the pedals.
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike Comfort
Seat The back of the seat is on a slight incline that you lean back into. This can’t be adjusted. Most people find it at a comfortable angle for cycling, It provides good support for most but some find a pillow can help to provide extra support the back.
If you are planning on using it for long periods of time (over an hour) you may find your sit bones going numb or hurting. A bit of a stretch and walk can help in alleviating this. Most people find it fine for periods less than an hour.
It is surprising how many people find the bike seat comfortable as it is something that many people find exercise bike seats uncomfortable (especially upright bikes).
But not everyone does find it that way – which is par for the course with padded oversized bike type seats (the base of the seat).
Some find it very uncomfortable. To try to help with this they put foam or towels on the seat. A safer option is an oversized gel seat cover or padded bike shorts.
Or if you want you can replace the seat but it does require a exercise bike seat adapter which you attach to bike that allows you to then fit a standard bike fitting seat of your choice.
You can keep yourself steady in the seat without using the side handlebars leaving your hands free to hold a book, game controller or tablet etc.
The seat is between 24 ins and 26 ins off the ground depending on how high it is adjusted making it easy to get on and off.
With back support to the seat you won’t get as much exercise to your core as you do with an upright bike where you use your core to hold yourself upright in the seat.
Handlebars. The handlebars are either side of the seat they are coated for comfort. They also include the pulse sensors that you grip for monitoring your hear heart rate on computer.
They sit a little lower than the bike so shouldn’t interfere with anyone sitting on the bike with wide hips – the distance between them is 21 inches
You don’t need to grip them to support yourself as you ride. The seat back provides enough support to stay in place as you ride. You can then use your hands for using a tablet, hold a book, play a video game or even lift some light weights.
Noise. The bike is very quiet. You can easily watch the TV while riding it Nor will it disturb others watching it in the same room with you.
If you want to use it at night it won’t disturb others sleeping – in some cases you may even be able to exercise in the same room if they aren’t a light sleeper.
Using it an apartment shouldn’t be a problem because it is so quiet. It doesn’t really vibrate when in use, but if you are concerned because you’ve wooden floors then a rubber exercise mat will stop any slight vibration transmitting through the floor.
Dust and Dirt. The bike is fairly clean and doesn’t really generate any dirt – apart from maybe some small amounts of lubricant. If you use it and “get a sweat on” you may drop some of it on the bike and floor. The bike does need a quick clean to remove the sweat to keep it looking good and performing well. The sweat may drop on the floor too and that can be protected from the effects of sweat with a rubber exercise mat.
The bikes fold up to about half its size so it can be fit in closets or stored out of the way. This space saving feature means it makes a good option for places where space can be at a premium as in small apartments or in a work office or even in a buy home
It gives you the option at your office to get the bike out and exercise during your lunch hour. Once your lunch hour is over you can pack it up and store it out of the way. As it is very quiet you are unlikely to disturb any one working through their lunch.
Folding it up doesn’t take long and is simple to do. You remove the 2 safety pins and push the legs together push the computer post down and then re-inset the safety pins.
There are rollers on the back stabilizer bar that the bike is tipped on to wheel the bike to and from storage. They work well on hard floors but because they are mostly recessed they aren’t that effective on soft carpet and the bike will need to be dragged/carried. The bike weighs 39
It is tempting to use the console to help with moving but don’t. It isn’t that sturdy and you may end up cracking it or breaking it off the bike. It is much better to use the seat for that which can stand up to being pulled, pushed, lifted or twisted.
It comes partly assembled with the bulk of it completed, for shipping purposes.
Assembly can be done easily within 2 hours and normally takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
The most difficult part is often handling the weight of the bike (39 lbs fully assembled) particularly when putting the stabilizer bars on the bike. If you feel you might struggle with the weight it’s a good idea to get someone to help you with holding the bike in place.
There is a product overview drawing just before the assembly instructions (page 7) that looks like you are going to put the whole thing together – it looks very difficult. It might give you a scare if you don’t turn the page. But you can ignore it – it’s there for information purposes. It’s not required for assembly.
Most of the screws/bolts are already in place needing to be lined up and tightened when the attaching the parts to the frame.
You just add the handlebars, seat, seat post, pedals and console to the bike and you’re ready to go.
It displays distance (miles), odometer, time, speed (mph), calories burned and heart rate when hand are on the hand pulse sensors in the handlebars. You can choose to see just one measure or set it to scan through the numbers every 6 seconds pressing the button below the screen,.
This button can also be used to reset all measures except odometer. The odometer resets when you take out the batteries.
The LCD screen is 3.3 by 1.5 ins with large numbers that can be seen clearly while you pedal and its positioning between your legs can seem a little low to view but you don’t need to strain to see it. (It means it doesn’t get in the way of the TV.) For most people it is out of the way of their legs as the ride but a few have noted that they sometime catch it with their legs on it.
However, the screen is not backlit so it is hard to see when the light is poor.
The hand pulse “heart” sensors are in the bars either side of the seat in easy reach. For your pulse/heart rate to register you need to hold both firmly but not too tight.
Console is battery operated using 2 AAA batteries (supplied) that are installed in the back. This is the only power requirement for the bike – the rest is manually operated.
To save power usage the console turns off after 4 minutes of not being used. It gives time for a quick break for refreshment or other reasons. It also saves the battery from running down.
To use the heart rate monitor properly you need to grip both the sensors firmly to get a constant reading (but not too tightly).
The heart rate displayed tends to show a higher heart rate than actual so should only be used as a guide rather than taken as your heart rate. This is a similar to most monitors with hand pulse sensors.
The console doesn’t have pre-set programs you can exercise too. It doesn’t store your individual workouts – if you want to keep are record to track progress you need to do this manually in a journal or on a spreadsheet. The odometer does keep a record of your cumulative distance ridden.
The weight and dimensions of the bike are:
Height 46 ins
Width 19 ins
Length 33 ins
Height 54 ins
Width 17 ins
Length 20 ins
Distance between handlebars: 21 inches
Bike Weight 39 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
There are no accessories that come with the bike.
However, you can keep yourself steady in the seat without using the side handlebars leaving your hands free to hold a book or tablet etc.
Some people have bought a small adjustable table and slide that over the top for resting their laptop on to use it to work on as they pedal. It makes for a cheaper option than the Fitdesk V2.0 (although you do end up with 2 pieces of equipment to store when not in use).
The manual provides some information on stretches for warming up. But there is no help on how to set the bike up properly or sample workouts to get you started. If you want this help you are expected to find it for yourself online – where there is video and websites with the information you need to get started.
- Folds up for easy storage in a closet or up against a wall out of the way – floor space required is about the size of a dining chair
- Quick to adjust for different sizes to make it suitable to be used by 2 or more people for their workouts
- Comes with a basic console for feedback during your exercise
- You can get as tough a workout and burn calories at a similar rate as on an upright bike
- Basic console gives you feedback that can be used to track workouts and effort that easy to see
- The bike is well priced and gives good value
- Assembly is quick and easy, all tools needed are supplied
- Smooth resistance changes to get the toughness of workout you want
- Resistance levels marked making easy to set and return to the amount you want
- The bike is compact and doesn’t take up much space when in use
- Very quiet bike is unlikely to disturb others when being used
- List item 1
- List item 2
- Doesn’t engage the abdomen as much as an upright bike
- The console provides only estimates (except for time which is accurate) that can only be used as a guide rather than relied on
- Doesn’t have levelers to balance up the bike
- It is semi-recumbent so won’t give you quite the same workout and relief of pressure on the legs
- Manual doesn’t have any help on how to set bike up properly or sample workouts
- Console doesn’t include pre-programmed workouts
- Not suitable for serious athletes
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings
I read through over 400 reviews online and it is obvious that the vast majority customers love this bike with it only having a few things they say to watch out for.
The main issue is to do with the console’s accuracy. The heart rate monitor doesn’t register heart rate that predictably resulting in false readings. The other measures (except time which is right) are over-estimating the work done and the calories burned.
As to be expected not everyone is happy with the bike. Some reviews talk about the bike they received having defective or broken parts. The supplier has not responded or has been very slow to respond when contacted by the customers.
They do seem to be a little hit and miss with this as some customers who have had these type of issues have been very pleased with their response and now have a bike that they like very much.
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike Price
The price for the bike is affordable for most people when it is compared to gym membership fees and most other exercise bikes. It would make a good deal even if it only lasted a couple of years! The experience of users is that it lasts more years than that.
When I checked online, the bike qualified for free shipping at Amazon.
This folding exercise bike is a great way to add activity into your life without spending a fortune on gym fees or an expensive exercise bike. You can get the exercising done while watching TV or reading a book and as it is so quiet you can get that done in the middle of night while others are sleeping.
When you couple this with a good diet it can be used in burning calories to lose weight. Or just generally to get in and stay in shape. Many people also find the semi-recumbent position helps to give a low impact exercise good on their knees and helps those who are rehabbing them (with doctors advice).
It’s not the right solution for those wanting intense training and workouts like you get with spin bikes or fan bikes. Although the bike is stable and resistance can get very tough (too tough) and this is fine for most people looking to improve their health and fitness it’s not designed for those who take it all very seriously.
For everyone else this makes a great option for getting low impact activity and exercise in the comfort of the home, and being a folding exercise bike it makes it suitable houses and small apartments and in between.